Before we jump into our predictions for 2014, it probably make sense to look backward at our predictions from 2013.
For some quick reflections, let's take a look at last year's predictions and also how these shaped some of our moves in 2013.
|Virtualization changes our thoughts on networking||eon virtualized networking platform (5/7/2013)
NG Firewall on Amazon Web Services (12/13/2013)
|Data growth changes our thoughts on retention||Add Extended Cloud Storage to Barracuda Backup (8/26/2013)|
|Next generation firewall will become mainstream||Launch Barracuda Firewall (2/26/2013)|
|Businesses will have to get smart about social media in the workplace||Barracuda Web Filter 7.0 targets social media harassment (8/21/2013)|
|Android and iOS will continue to impact business applications||Barracuda launches Copy (2/20/2013)|
|Cloud||Expand free Copy storage to 15GB (5/15/2013)|
As we look into 2014, the trends are going in the same direction, but they are also veering slightly.
- The role of virtualization continues to change in two significant ways:
- Continued growth of network virtualization. Virtualization of server infrastructure has continued to catalyze a trend toward network function virtualization within existing frameworks where virtual security and networking appliances are being deployed to protect virtual servers and endpoints. While some vendors are speaking of “software defined networking,” much of the market has taken a wait-and-see approach and not adopted OpenFlow or other standards for which these terms have become synonymous. Instead most are favoring network function virtualization within their existing server virtualization environments. We continue to see this at Barracuda with an increased number of our customers choosing to deploy functions like load balancer, ADC, SSL VPN, web application firewall, firewall, email security, and web security deployed in virtual environments like VMware, Citrix Xen and Microsoft Hyper-V.
- Security virtualization in the public cloud. We are also beginning to see virtualization of the security layer extending beyond the premises toward virtualization in the public cloud infrastructures like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure. This past year, our Barracuda NG Firewall and Barracuda Web Application Firewall added additional layers of high security within public cloud infrastructures like the Amazon and Microsoft clouds, and we expect that as customers move their workloads into the cloud, they create additional needs for deployment of virtual security and networking appliances in the cloud.
Barracuda NG Firewall is the first and – at the moment – only enterprise-grade firewall available for the Microsoft Azure environment capable of segmenting and securing an enterprise Azure cloud-account with highly secure VPN connection in between Azure DMZs.
- Data growth continues, driving traditional usage of in-house file shares toward the cloud.
- Online file sharing is moving from hated to tolerated now to embraced by corporate IT. At Barracuda, our Copy online file sharing service has passed 2 million users. Many have called today the “era of the personal cloud” and we believe this extends to business. We've already observed business professionals getting frustrated with having a better IT infrastructure in their personal lives with the cloud than they have at work where their workplaces continue to struggle with keeping up with storage and data access needs. With Copy, our aim is to solve the needs of businesses to store, protect and secure their data by addressing the concerns that have prevented them from adopting an online file sharing platform. Copy will help accelerate the adoption of online file sharing across organizations.
- Provider landscape for cloud services is becoming more vertically integrated. At the same time, continuing data growth is also driving a different level of cloud economics and provider landscape. The demise of Nirvanix was simply one example of a change in the landscape where a stronger vertical integration across application, platform and underlying storage will be critical. In addition, Symantec's cancellation of its BackupExec.cloud offering demonstrates the market requirement of a minimum feature set for any cloud offering to be viable.
- Growing data retention and availability demands will make cloud storage more appealing. Regulatory pressures increasingly dictate the length of time data must remain accessible as well as the maximum amount of time an organization has to (re)produce that data. The reality of cost-effective cloud storage is only now being fully realized. Backup and archive will converge in the cloud as it becomes a centralized repository for company data and technologies are developed to search and interact with that data.
- The SMB next generation firewall becomes cloud-connected. Our customers continue to both observe and participate in cloud adoption. At Barracuda, we have designed our new products around these trends, and our new Barracuda Firewall helps organizations utilize the cloud better by optimizing network performance and prioritization for business critical cloud applications (e.g., salesforce.com) over more casual Internet use. In addition, we are using the elasticity of the cloud to deliver advanced malware scanning and content security as new threats emerge without overburdening the limited computing resources of purely on-premises devices. Finally, in today's constantly connected world, the Barracuda Firewall can be managed from cloud. We are seeing other vendors in the space doing similar things largely because customers are expecting them
- End user and mobile app usage continues. Beyond social media, end user app growth with content affecting their businesses continues to grow. Beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as potential threat vectors in the social media space, additional sources to govern include online file sharing, Evernote, and other popular mobile applications designed to improve productivity but have the capability to impact security and policy. At Barracuda, we continue to recommend governing this usage through next generation firewalls and Web security solutions. The social media story is becoming a mobile story so much of the story around security is moving to the cloud. In addition, providing secure means of end user access to corporate data is important, and we are doing this through mobile access through our Copy and SignNow services, enabling backed up file share data to be accessible through Copy mobile clients, and through Barracuda Message Archiver, which gives fast, full-featured yet secure mobile access to any email ever sent or received by a user. .
- Cloud. Despite some zeitgeist concerns over inter-government spying, uses of the cloud continue to remain very practical. The three very practical uses of cloud remain:
- Offsiting: Barracuda leverages the cloud for off-premises security and storage – At Barracuda, our email security and Web security cloud services stop threats in the cloud before they ever reach the customer's network. And customers can have the cloud act as a DR site for those who can't afford them. Our Barracuda Backup product features cloud replication to our Barracuda Cloud so you can restore data even when your site goes down; Our Cloud LiveBoot capability brings live instances of backed up VMs up in the Barracuda Cloud to recover your servers quickly
- Mobility: Barracuda provides protection and storage everywhere for your mobile workforce. The Barracuda Web Security service provides protection for mobile users everywhere without requiring you to backhaul traffic to your site. SignNow gives mobile users the ability to sign and retrieve documents from mobile devices. And Copy online file sharing provides mobile access to personal and business files from any location.
- Elasticity: The Barracuda Cloud provides an elastic compute and storage platform to meet the changing needs of our customers. Unlike pure on-premises equipment, cloud can be used to offload computationally-intensive functions from on-premises security devices. The Barracuda Firewall is a cloud-connected next generation firewall that leverages the cloud for advanced malware protection and content security. At the same time, Barracuda Backup, Copy, and SignNow all provide virtually unlimited cloud storage capacity to allow customers to scale capacity instantly as needs grow.
As these trends continue to evolve, so will our moves in this space! We look forward to the year ahead!